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Same Old New York

by on October 27, 2010

“We’re 46th” isn’t quite as appealing a slogan as “I Less Than Three NY,” even if the former implicitly asserts this place is better than a handful of other states.  Jobs are scarcer in New York than Bills victories, which is as shocking as discovering that taxes are high in these parts, too.

And the losses keep piling up.  The feds recently released bad news for anyone who likes jobs or money.  Specifically, they shared state-by-state job gains and losses for the time from February 2009, when the stimulus was going to crush unemployment, through September 2010, when we dealt with yet another month of a jobless rate approaching double digits:

The Department of Labor today released its latest state-by-state job report, showing state jobs and unemployment data for September 2010. This latest data, when compared with the level of jobs in February 2009, when President Obama signed Democrats’ trillion-dollar stimulus plan into law, reveals that 48 out of 50 States have lost jobs since then.

It’s unsurprising New York is in the bad 96 percent, although it still stings that the state lost 159,800 freaking posts.  That said, former governor and john Eliot Spitzer is again working in this state as a television host, although it’s difficult to find someone who has seen his program to confirm his employment status.

The overwhelming loss stands as fifth-most.  Of course, that’s in part due to the Empire State’s prodigious nature.  That might be in line with where observers expected such a large state to rank, which is criminally depressing.  Exceeding standards should be the goal, not being just barely less awful than expected.

Of course, the state was already in rotten shape before the Semi-Great Recession.  Yes, unemployment stands at a troubling 8.3 percent here.  But that’s unfortunately not discouraging in relative terms.

Still, it’s important to remember that people who fled the state don’t count.  Perversely, the jobless rate dipped in New York because so many people got tired of coping with a desolate economy that they moved elsewhere.  Those who bailed also took congressional seats with them. Lamentably, they’re wisely leaving behind the unimaginable deficit.

We’re lucky California is around to make New York look slightly less foolish by comparison. But being the nation’s second-biggest failure remains a rather weak consolation prize.

In that light, it’s discouraging that a, to phrase it mildly, flawed candidate who nonetheless remains the only hope to shove the budget into submission is lagging in polls. The rather problematic Carl Paladino represents the best bet for cutting governmental excesses, not to mention that he remains the second-most entertaining candidate in the race.

Instead, New York voters seem maddeningly willing to coronate a contender who, his contrary guarantees aside, will treat augmenting government like a full-time job paired with a hobby.  Believing a Mario Cuomo Democrat like Andrew Cuomo when he claims that he wants to cut spending and cap property taxes is like taking Lindsay Lohan at her word that she’ll remain sober.

That’s not even to mention Young Cuomo’s woeful tenure as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, where he led an agency that did more to initiate global financial ruin than every fat cat and robber baron combined.

Regardless, nothing will ever improve in this state as long as any spending cut is portrayed as an attempt to punish the downtrodden for the hell of it.  Modest reductions may lead to gangs of elderly and impoverished children engaging in turf battles to see who can control the most sustenance-providing Jim’s Steakout garbage bins.  But it remains unlikely we will face an apocalyptic landscape created by a sensible budget where citizens are free to earn their own way and help preferred charities.

New York also remains dedicated to the notion that children will get dumb unless schools are lavished with state income tax revenues, not to mention its willingness to prepare citizens for Obamacare by getting as many people as possible signed up for Medicaid. During what should be Dollar Menu time, we’re ordering a second dessert at the Chop House.

There remains some hope for electing an even blunter Chris Christie, if perhaps not much; meanwhile, Senate candidates who would possibly stand against national profligacy are seemingly getting zero traction.

Circumstances could change in the final days, and there’s hope that the national desire to put government on a fast could have an effect even in navy blue states.  But, unless there are some wild surprises proving otherwise next Tuesday, it appears that many voting New Yorkers just can’t wait to throw the bums back in.

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